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In just over three years, real estate giant Tishman Speyer and its partner, BlackRock, lost billions of investors' dollars on a single deal. The New York Timesreporter who first broke the story of MetLife's sale of Stuyvesant Town-Peter-Cooper Village to Tishman Speyer takes readers inside the most spectacular failure in real estate history, using this single deal as a lens to see how and why the real estate crisis happened. How did the smartest people in real estate lose billions in one single deal? How did the Church of England, the California teachers' pension fund, and the government of Singapore lose a combined one billion dollars of that investment? How did MetLife make three billion dollars on the deal, without any repercussions from a historically racist policy of housing segregation? And how did eight middle-class residents of a sleepy enclave in New York City win the most unlikely lawsuit in the history of real estate law? Other People's Moneyanswers those questions while not only explaining the current recession in stark, clear detail, but also providing riveting, first-person accounts of the titanic failure of the real estate industry to see that recession was coming. It's the Too Big to Failof real estate. In 2006, Tishman Speyer and BlackRock paid $5.4 billion for Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, an eighty-acre middle-class housing complex in New York City. It was the largest deal in US real estate history. And on January 8, 2010, Tishman Speyer defaulted, with investors losing everything. Charles Bagli covered the story for The New York Timesas it happened and has turned his investigation into the definitive book on real estate during the bubble years-and what happened when that enormous bubble exploded.
CHARLES V. BAGLI covers the intersection of politics and real estate at The New York Times. He was ranked the sixty-first most powerful person in real estate by The New York Observer in 2010. He lives in New Jersey with his wife. They have two daughters.